Cinderella (4 stars)


From the sumptuous decoration around the foyer (yes, they’ve even painted the pink elephants silver — don’t worry, it’s only temporary) to the gorgeous, delicate Baroque set, the Citz’ first original commissioned Christmas production in years announces itself as thoroughly classy festive entertainment. There’s not the tiniest trace of Buttons nor a whisper of Disneyfication about it – playwright Alan McHugh has gone back to the original Grimm Brothers’ story of grief and lonIt’s her dead mother’s ghost, rather than the sanitised fairy godmother of modern versions, who sends Cinders off to the ball, and the ugly sisters do, indeed, cut their toes off in order to squeeze into that slipper. However, it’s all managed in a family-friendly way and really does feel like a live fairytale, with grace, real emotional weight and a properly heartwarming resolution, even if the music can be slightly treacly. The broad comic strokes and primary-coloured finery of the ugly sisters, and some brilliantly original audience participation lighten the mood; Cara Kelly’s very wicked stepmother is a blackly comic treat and Andrew Scott-Ramsay’s handsome prince really gets the audience swooning.


This festive season the Citz turns its attention to Cinderella, using the Grimms' text as the starting point for an inventive take on the much-told tale.


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